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Is Surgery The Best Treatment For Mesothelioma?


Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the linings of body cavities; like other types of cancer, it can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.  The most common cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos dust.  Approximately 80 percent of mesothelioma patients have been exposed to asbestos at work; most of them worked in industries like construction and shipbuilding, where asbestos was a widespread form of fire-resistant insulation until laws went into effect, severely restricting its use, after the dangers of asbestos became publicly known in the 1980s.  Most mesothelioma patients develop symptoms decades after being exposed to asbestos.  Finding out that you need costly medical treatment is always stressful, especially when the diagnosis is something as scary as cancer, but people who develop mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure have the right to seek compensation.  If you or a family member has recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, contact a Columbia asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer.

The Most Common Surgeries for Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma.  It is located on the pleurae, which are the layers of tissue on the outside of the lungs and the inner surface of the chest wall.  Doctors often recommend surgery as a treatment for pleural mesothelioma; the surgery does not always prolong the patient’s life expectancy, but it relieves pain.  One type of surgery is called pleurotomy decortication (PD), which involves removing part of the pleurae and sometimes part of a lung.  The other type of pleural mesothelioma surgery is called extra pleural pneumonectomy (EPP), which involves the removal of pleura, an entire lung, and part of the pericardium, a membrane on the outer surface of the heart.  Less commonly, mesothelioma tumors can form in the abdomen, and these tumors can often be surgically removed, too.

What If Surgery Isn’t an Option?

With mesothelioma as with so many other diseases, each patient’s case is unique.  Surgical removal of mesothelioma tumors may not be possible, depending on the location of the tumor.  Another reason that could rule out the possibility of surgery is pre-existing health conditions, for example, if the patient’s heart health is not good enough to withstand a major surgery, or if the patient has a pre-existing lung disease that would make it inadvisable to remove an entire lung.  In those cases, treatment might involve chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, or a combination of those; chemotherapy and immunotherapy are different categories of cancer-fighting drugs.  Even if you have surgery, your doctor will probably also recommend chemotherapy, because it can get rid of cancer cells in the bloodstream or at the margins of the tumor site.

Let Us Help You Today

The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through your work or the work of a member of your household.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.


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